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tv   The True Glory  CSPAN  May 29, 2015 8:00pm-9:26pm EDT

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want to thank this wonderful panel that's given us a lot to work with. thank you so much. [ applause ] >> thank you all. tonight it's american history tv in prime time with our series "real america" featuring archival footage of events from the 20th century. next, a look at 1944 d-day invasion in europe. then 1953 film documenting a privately-funded effort to improving living conditions in urban baltimore followed by 1965 televised speech by president
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lyndon johnson regarding the u.s. role in vietnam. a look at events surrounding apollo 13 space mission. >> each week american history tv's "real america" brings you archival films that help tell the story of the 20th century. "true glory" 1945 co-production and the british information of information. chronicling events in europe from june 1944 d-day envision until surrender of nazi germany may 1945, the film utilized work over 1400 combat cameramen. last year to mark the anniversary of d-day the preservation lab digitally restored the film using software and a tedious manual process to remove dirt dust, scratches from scans of each frame of the
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81-minute film. ♪ >> i have been asked to be the spokesman for this allied expeditionary force in saying a word of introduction to what you're about to see. it is a story of the nazi defeat on the western front. so far as possible, the amateurs have made an account of the really important mental in this campaign. i mean the enlisted soldiers sailors and airmen that went through every obstacle to win victory. the theme would be the same teamwork wins wars. i mean teamwork among nations, services and men. all the way down the line from the g.i. and the tommy to us
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brass hats. our enemy in this campaign was strong resourceful, and cunning. but he made a few mistakes. his greatest blunder was this -- he thought he could break up our partnership but we were welded together by fighting for one great cause. in one great team a team in which you were an indispense ible and working member. that spirit of free people working, fighting and living together in one great cause has served us well on the western front. we in the feel pray that that spirit of commonship will persist forever among the free peoples of the united nations. ♪
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to you who know living in love and hope, sense a future in the surrounding air, this testament, look on the violent fragments of our age and once thinness of the little thread that made us then the citizens of freedom. while dark was europe and the face of man when this begins. the nation had gone mad and struck out everywhere the compass knew. left its wreckage on a hundred coasts the german cast his fires about the globe his strength drawn from the smoking roar lay in our weakness and at last his conquests smolders behind the
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barriers of his arms. along the channel where the sea strikes france stood the west wall of concrete stone and steel to mock the frail hope of the petty free. wounded, hard-pressed and wasted on our strength almost like madmen, we plan to breach the wall and smash the german spine. but where? we searched the coast of europe like fierce eagles. between low flushing and deep harbor cherbourg our eyes sought ought the exult. the north sane beaches were too small. too narrow. heavily defended. it all resolved on normandy. there planes could land upon the ground, coast defenses were more light and tides had a good range and men safe from winds. so on five miles of still
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unbloodied sand the threatful koers course of fate. our people bent to the construction of steel array and took the builder's hammer in their hand temperatures seemed almost as though the sun stood still until our free peoples full of rage and power heaved through the air the plunderous spear of war. this is our people's story in their words. >> i suppose if the battle of the north atlantic hadn't gone right, things might have been considered different. that was an ugly time for all of us merchant ships naval escort, air patrol. i guess i had my share of bad luck. i lost three ships, and some good friends.
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>> i remember reading somewhere that when a seagull comes down on a patch of oil, its feathers stick together and can't get off the water again. there must have been a lot of dead seagulls around the north atlantic. >> of course, we only saw it happening on the wall map and yet it was well quite real. when i started markers were used reminded me of toys out of some children's game. but then ships carrying cargos food, supply weapons and men to use them. >> i remember coming over, the worst thing about the trip was you didn't know where you were going. wherever it was you'd be a stranger, and nobody likes that. that ship was loaded from stem
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to stern with sad sacks. around the third day out things got pally, like the fella said, we're all in the same boat, the comic. finally we got to liverpool. they had a band to play us in. english army band full of chimes. i'm dreaming of a white christmas, they played to tell you the truman, it was pretty corny. but nobody said anything because, you know, it was a nice gesture. >> funny thing on the way over you felt like you were the whole works. you couldn't help it. but then all over the uk you'd see things that made you begin to realize you were just part of a big proposition. all kinds of things.
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♪ ♪ >> i was a premed student at johns hopkins in civilian life. now i do know a little something about anatomy. and i say it is scientifically impossible for the human body to stand up to the training we received. absolute impossibility. muscles and tendons and bone structure was not designed to withstand that battering. don't ask me how it happens that
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we did stand up to it. i don't know. it has no scientific explanation. >> hear, listen to this. one of them army -- to a young man, soldiered in the army of today, exceptional advantages and opportunity such as physical training foreign travel, sport, and many other facilities which are normally denied to those engaged in the majority of civilian occupations. the majority of occupations in civil life become -- in the army life is so varied that there is little or no prospect of a monotonous or irks in time. >> so then we're girded with our highest hour. while they learn war in small and secret rooms planners met to watch their work mature. beyond our view, the german,
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proud and confident, stood calm in deep em placements on the armored coast. the war was not won of men and blood. weapon were the factories and the maps and voices speaking in the hidden night. season by season, all plans advanced and those few men on whom the massive war rested with massive weight worked ceaseless ceaselessly. >> i used to wonder whether they realize they'd were part of it all, paving the way for the invasion. >> we kept bashing away at german targets, steel and oil hamburg, battle of berlin. >> things were getting tougher every trip, more ground defenses, night fighters, more crews not coming back. >> we got away early in the morning. sometimes we'd see lancasters coming back. a lot of times we'd stoke up the
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same targets they did. we beat up aircraft factories too. it was a deluxe service day and night, 24 hours a day. >> we dropped agents over france must be awful to risk your neck and have to keep it secret. >> one man's submarines, torpedo boats. >> quick drying solid clay foundation, support 30-ton tanks. >> i must have photographed every field in france. i didn't know that, nor did jerry. >> we dropped stuff to the mackey, sabotage materials and so on. we taught them how to use it. >> built to specification but hadn't known the least idea of what kind of gadget it was. only name was mull berry if it was vital to know about the bay and the tides. >> we trained men to negotiate tides and craft. >> in preparation for the day. >> special study along the weather. >> 7200 ton of petrol per day.
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>> underwater pipeline to carry up to france. >> stars emblem be. >> blue ships from the stocks, old ships. >> listening to german radio output for fresh intelligence. >> part of preinvasion work. by december 43, it was set and took it around for final discussion. >> approved the plan. russian forces advancing from the east and invasion from the west. and then the date was set. >> i assume command is safe with the best all-around team for which a man could ask. some had already been working for months in england. others, i brought with me from the mediterranean. we adopted first a master plan. and then had to coordinate every last detail of the ground, sea and airplanes.
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while this was going on we led off with an air show designed to make the landing points as soft as possible, to batter the german communications, and to make certain we'd have control of the air. it was quite a show. those airmen did a magnificent job. >> we had polish, french, czechs, all sorts in our outfit. only word you would make out was marshalling yard. >> seemed to do nothing but look down on french bridges those day. we'd ask each other cut any good bridges lately in only one railway bridge left over the sane between paris and the sea. >> late spring, through the wounded towns of england moved the mat made by our patients two precious years of plans put way. all maps on the walls who had
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been paper at least come alive. across the channel arc wear of our resolve with coal contempt reinforcements from the right, generals prepared, their might was poised. they looked across the heathing sea and grinned. they would reap harvest of us on the beaches and death itself would stand amazed yet, faint across the groaning of the sea, thunder of massive power. drawn from the great free peoples of the earth gathered in the ancient ports of england on the steel encumbered ships. ♪
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♪ >> it was a funny sort of feeling, marching down to ships. we had done it plenty of times of course on schemes and that kind of thing. they didn't tell us this was the big show. might have just been another exercise. some of the chaps wasn't comic, but we laughed. i think we all guessed. general feeling was, okay if this is it let's get in there, get it over with. always on my nerves even waiting for a bus, never could stand it. well, after a bit our ship found a place in the middle of the rest of the stuff and there we stayed, for days.
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>> they gave us the final briefing then. you know what to do and how, they told us where and when, that's the briefing i'm listened to every word. wrote it down in my head like a record and kept playing over and over again. reach the beach in the morning. ever since i became a soldier they were getting me ready for this. before, there had been times in front of me, protecting me. now that time had worn away there are own a few hours left morning i'd have to face it. i tried to imagine how much fear i would have, you know, if it would keep me from doing my job. i suppose everybody else was wondering same thing.
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>> nobody said anything official, but all of a sudden the ship got much busier, and over the amp fire the chaplain said he'd be saying mast 18:30 hours. funnying i don't think i ever believed, even after the final briefing, that the invasion was going to come off. and a voice on the loud speaker said, men who wish to take their anti-seasick pills should take the first one now than did it.
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♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> i was tugging a glide, the way we always practiced it, except i never been in the air with the whole army before. three airborne divisionjf#l six british, 101st american. just before the glider pilot cast off over a landing don't i wished good luck over the radio. seemed inadequate thing to say. >> as supreme commander, let me break in at this point to say just a word about the navy. from the moment of embark
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indication to back of landing the full burden fell upon the navy and our merchant fleets. they had to sweep the mines, bombard the coastal batteries, transport the coastline preparer to to landing and fine,ly man the small boats that carried the soldiers to the beach. on that day there were more than 8,000 ships and landing crafton the shores of normandy. it was the most intricate task, and vital one for the success of our plans. the courage fidelity, and skill of the royal and american navies have no brighter page in their histories than that of june 6, 1944. 6 ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ >> back in london, only a few people knew. it was a well-kept secr@ix correspondents were called and
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told to be the ministry of information at 8:00, and they told them. >> they called our beach omaha don't ask me why. i never been to omaha. i live in nebraska. if it's like omaha, france, you can have it. omaha was the roughest spot. we lost some good men. took a few prisoners. it was a lousy trade. we've been told what to expect, it wasn't like a surprise or anything. it just, well when it really happens it's different.
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for a while there we were pinned down but lucky thing, the other beaches were going better so we got a little more than our share of the old teamwork. navy come in air guys and finally we got moving good. we hear a lot about how long it takes to make battle hardened soldiers out of green troops. listen i got to be a veteran in one day. that day. >> so they paved the beaches with our blood and lurched across and reached the. germans battled fiercely. they the three airborne divisions, first of all to land, loud across crater advance came german reinforcement frpz berlin a voice cried out allies must be hurled into the sea. locked in battle the armies clashed. our first objective, then, was to merge all of the beach heads into one and 50 miles of men drive on together beyond the red sands through the broken wall.
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>> where i was, it wasn't too bad getting ashore. not until it started. you had to fight for every bloody thing. it was a scene each time. crawl on your belly keeping your backside down like you'd been told, chucking a few hand grenades and rushed them. sometimes they killed us but we were killing more than them. the trick is the farms, jelly fortresses. we lad to wait for company commander to call back for military support. the navy was with us too, chucking shells ahead of us. three days we advanced seven miles, then told to stand fast and dig in. next morning they had the news we heard from the bbc it it sounded great. joined up all along the bridge head. there was a solid line 45 miles
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of. we had a foothold. we went in. >> we didn't have to do much navigating to get there. just followed the pconvoys. we waited around and the ground troops whistled us out, told bus some target they antwanted removed and in we'd go. like texas on a cab ring. >> something nice about a beach, any beach. you think of a beach chances are you remember something nice, like i party or picnic.
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pal also in the old days girls bathing suits. the one i worked, utah looked like a freight yard once we got going. in a while we brought supplies over the open beach. like we practiced it like we made up as we went along. we worked 24-hour shift, ducks lights rafts robots all sorts of rube goldbergs. stuff kept pouring in tanks, truck, food, ammo guys, millions of things. >> we didn't we'd spend 15 days in the same field. wood behind us, germans in the wood behind us empty valley in between. each side, i guess you had to live in a trench. you got into a routine. you know stand true from 4 to 5, two hours wait for break.
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bacon or sausage tea, of course biscuits. we'd will living on come poe food since d-day. it was good food, but, you know, you got tired of it. i'd given a lot of fresh bread and butter or cup of fresh tea. 15 day's a long time to stand in one place. everyone's coming straight for you. ♪ >> i can remember every case we ever had. especially the first one. ambulance brought him in late one afternoon. i came over to where he was
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lying and he looked up and grinned. i asked him how he felt. he said something about the german with the machine pistol using him for a dart board. he was quiet and and patient and a little bewildered. he'd never been hurt before. he asked how the fighting was going, then he passed out. the doctor came overing looked at his wounds and swore, say he had no business to be alive. we put him on the operating table and did what we could. the doctor kept swearing all the time he was operating. we couldn't stop the bleeding. i remember the radio that night, they said casualties had been surprisingly light. >> they said the whole them was dear old winston's idea a collapsible prefabricated harbor
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with everything on it. i wouldn't put it past him, ideally would have. worked in the end. mulberry, they called it. i felt pretty good about it because i'd watched it grow from the sinking of the first ship to the out of break water and further along to the west the yanks brought one over, too. then on d-plus 13 i think it was, on shore wind started up. not much at first but it got worse. unloading on to the open beaches, got very tricky. we headed over on the yank section, the other harbor had been put right out of action. when the wind dropped, mulberry looked pretty sick. and after that time it was the only bleeding harbor we had. >> at the green. of normandy the town of cherbourg harbor for surprise. vital as our breath. swift forces into tight defensive groups so to contest the issue.
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all of our plans turned aboard cherbo cherbgorg. impatient for the port. through hedge and field they carved their heavy way. >> you remember back now, went it seems like we took cherbourg a couple of days when we hit the beach it took 19 days to cover 30 miles. 30 miles and 9 dshgs 2 swzs and 9 dshgs 200. pretty trees, farmhouses. the apples were too green to eat, i remember. we hit it fine with the people. farmers, nice people. it got tough when we pulled up on the outskirt of cherbourg.
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he had great defense mz the artillery carried the ball for three days we socked it to them. sometimes we were pouring in at pointblank range over open sites. finally, the german commander tossed in the sponge. that's after telling his men to fight until they're dead. we took cherbourg june 25th, everything was rosy except the harbor. the jerry really smeared that harbor. right away our guys went to work cleaning it up, and the way they tore into it you could see it would be working for us fine. then, well we fought our way up to the peninsula, now we'd have to fight our way out of it. >> and everywhere inside france we men of the mackey were fighting too. i was in the north myself. we got telephone telegraph lines, and eventually when the allies landed we fought in the
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open in the mountains our friends held german convoys. it was easier in the mountains. reinforcements were delayed for many days. factories and bridges would frequently disappear. but the price we paid for it was frightful. in the village of oraduor the germans slaughtered 1200 out of the population and the place was completely burned they were accused to have ambushed german troops. every house was destroyed. women, children, died in flames in the church where they had been locked. yes, price we paid and was very great. but our job was done. >> a town for which the t. ripples its slow way to the
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waiting sea, capital of normandy. the british struck a stonewall of germans. . this was no cher bourg advance. a knife thrust through the fields. inch by inch forward. here it was the german feel a quick breakthrough to the river saen. 10 of the 12 divisions of his armor, paratroops, s.s. men, young, against the veterans we wanted him to fight here and told the battled ground because future plans depended on him standing where he was. the dust was diamonds. every foot of ground priceless. by mid most summer cane was to be the pivot of the war.
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♪>> caen the first decent sized town we had taken there was no celebration nothing had been settled jerry was as strong as ever. one of the men said, god we
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have to go across the world doing this to beat them? most of caen was dust, plain death. i wondered what hamilton back home in canada would look like after a beating like that. well, anyway, ow tanks and the british started massing and moved south. we knew there was a big due coming up. >> the show began south of caen where the pols joined up with us. i had a lot of the lads say, on the run. i knew he wasn't on the run. i knew it was right. nothing lovely about the battle south of caen. no outflanging, nothing like that. on odd bit of bloody slugging match. had to give as good as we got even if we couldn't give better.
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>> beyond the rubble the empire troops kept up their endless pressure. germans did not dare to disengage. unaware of what we planned for him west, the base of his defense, americans were poised and bent on fire an armor arrow. a glow was seized, the arrow waited. ♪
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♪ ♪
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>> one minute it's quiet with birds sing, the next minute sherman tanks around the corning going we opened. my buddy say where all of the tanks coming from? i asked the tanker. he yell the 3rd army taken off. somebody let the rabbit out of the hat. man what a rabbit. pearl handled revolvers. >> when i think back to the breakthrough, i don't seem to be able to remember anything but the french people. people beside the road, kids we couldn't stop to give candy to ffi boys from the fields and farmworkers waving us as we went by. easy to look them in the face and mile and wave back, when you hadn't had to smash their homes to pieces first. the morning we got in the ren boy that really was the break.
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♪ ♪ >> at ren, american armor planned to drive east and northeast and thus surround and take the german divisions in the rear. the planned to stop the arrow did, cutting its supply route to the point and stretched narrowest along the coast. a great force exploding hoping to achieve the scene and drag our hopes down to the smoking ground.
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>> there's a lot of places i'd rather talk about. that's where i got hit. we've been going great up to there. some of the guys had been singing, harmonizing and the first german artillery caught us. pretty accurate, too. an hour later i was short 18 men. well, behold we hit back with everything we had. they weren't just trying to stop us, see. they wanted to come right through. and then me, i get a belt in the face left side and i keel. the last thing i remember is looking up and seeing rif typhoons. when i heard them screaming up ahead i thought, geez, i'm glad they're on our side. >> i was sitting in front of the intelligence office doing sunbathing when headquarters came through saying it was back
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with german armor heading west. that started it. six hours the wind kept up nonstop, take-off attack refuel. the same airfield in normandy. only briefing i gave the chaps well, you know where they respect only interrogation when they got back well, how many did you get? >> three days it lasted every kind of soldier was in there every weapon. for me eating, smoking, loading 105, no sleeping. things quieted down. we stopped them cold. everybody felt like celebrating. it was a tough order out there. i tried drirgingnking a whole bottle of cough medicine. it was fine. i got stiffer than a tang. >> took us by surprise, did not hinder our deceptive plans. he left his north flank
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weakened. not stage was set. swept the empire troops, together with the pols. the german heard behind his back, the american armor. our generals outfought, found himself within a closing trap. ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> i've covered them with a gun down to clearing stations. thousands of them. all kinds. tough ones with the smile froze stiff on their faces by shell fire. the plain joes that had too much
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already to tell you that. and that poker-faced officers that never lost the poker-faced look. s.s. parachute troop old soldiers off the russian front, i've seen them all. hitler youth babies look like they walked out of lincoln high. expert killers. smart alec with their talk of rights under the geneva convention and asking when do we go to america? the other guy who crawled ow out of a hole with his hands up, all through, talking to much. ready to swear he hated hitler all the time. kids that knew how machine gun worked had nothing else. grinning like they were still on top, so they could hardly hold that trigger finger still. middle age guys wanting to tell you about the wife and kids. and through killing when i saw them and through getting killed, too. some of them thought they were lucky, and others didn't.
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and some didn't give a -- i covered them down to the rear where it was somebody's job to find out what made them tick but it wasn't my job to figure them out. i kept them covered. and, brother i never gave them one of the nengeneva convention, and that was all. >> american tanks ground on into the east towards paris. before the them germans fled away, stander hands up raised by roads littered with smoldering gear. into the unscarred country. >> a good solid man, absolute must for a modern mechanized army traveling at high speed. in our division, it was my job. when we broke out of the peninsula my department had the situation well in hand. then for us everything went mad. stark, raving mad. one morning i woke up the army had gone right off the map,
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absolutely right off the map. so we rushed through an order for 500,000 maps of the region. they arrived in due time. to our horror the army progressed far beyond the region. it was off the map again. this was a peerriod of acute crisis. i gave the highest priority to the fresh order of maps. we refused to be licked by the situation. the final blow, it became evident we were going to bypass paris. that almost finished us weep had to drop 10,000 maps by parachute. a humiliating experience. i'll be glad to get back to the library of congress where maps have some permanent value. >> while fighting near paris we french soldiers were fighting in the normandy fields and suddenly an order came go to paris, it said. and take it!
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we realized after having equippeded our division with tanks, guns, rifles, jeeps, that night decided to give us paris too. jeeps. so at 4:00 in the morning the division starts rushing the roads, and on the right, left everywhere, american air force. what a trip. 250 kilometers in one day. i think i tell it all the time to my grandchildren and bore them with it until i die. >> the beginning we are in paris. what could be confirmed was towards the middle of the month the germans started to leave the city. those were the same germans that signed 25 year leases on their apartments. then on the 14th our police went
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on strike. the next day the gestapo left. that was the same day they opened fire and began the battle for the city. after that it seemed the french flag was hanging from every window. the flags were made of curtains, everything, didn't matter. four days later we have shouting coming. we started me my husband, everyone in the house. as we ran, people were screaming. the french army arrived. when we got to the plaza we saw. i kissed my husband because he -- we began to realize how unhappy we had been for four years and how lucky we were to
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be alive. >> the great pursuit was on atlasat at last the battle was ending. two armies on the southern coast of france north, two new armies rode like waves to join forces on the right. beyond the sennes where they brought death and destruction our valued armies went about the task of assignment. against the ports hugging the channel, forced by desperate foes canadians were sent. they were surging toward a waiting brussels.
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>> people of brussels laughed, cried, threw flowers and said good-bye when they meant to say hello. man, they were happy. i suppose they were no longer afraid. i remember wondering then how the first germans would react to us. i remember one day we were coming across a big, flat field. didn't look like nothing special. i hopped a barbed wire fence he says guess what. i said what he said you're in germany. like i dope i said won't be long now. >> i remember the point system for getting out of the army came out about this time. i began to think of that double
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breasted suit in mothballs. >> i was in seventh army from france, he said take a ride, i have prisoners to guard. how many? 25,000. a whole division surrendered. >> one day we came across a thing i had never seen it is a flying bomb site, the officer says. that made me feel good. >> if an aircraft shows up white, it is american if it is dark, it is british. >> every time i got my earphones on, found out the real swiss border was five miles ahead. >> wrote to the old man in st. louis, owns a men's store, said he better cut prices on g i ties and socks. >> don't you worry, we have the japs to finish here. regular soldier. >> it was terrific crossing the
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german border. we weren't sure nothing could stop us. >> every line must somewhere have an end. in southeast holland nothing lay between the british army and german plain except two rivers and a town. so we made our plans to send an airborne army down. then to hold them for the force that would sweep like thunder from the south. thus, where no line existed would the line be crossed in force. >> i sat right forward by the window. could see nothing but blue skies with fighters up top side. one of the boys was reading the newspaper. showed me a funny piece in it. i couldn't laugh. someone yelled running up now.
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we got to action stations. i remember thinking what if then the war was over. ♪ ♪ zblt army is dropping on them, we go to a place in who will and. she goes get get right, dig in set up a perimeter and wait for the british army. then we join them and head out.
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>> made it hard to hit a mark. we crossed the river but didn't get far. knew as well as we did we have to get through, put in everything he got. knowing our men were waiting and we couldn't get to them. >> at arnhem we got well dug in. we were short of ammo and food. that was our main worry. i'll never forget the supply dropping mission the way jerry let loose at them the way they came straight on into it. toward the end, we knew the situation was bad. we knew we were hemmed in. we knew it was possible we wouldn't get out. more than anything i remember the way everyone behaved. men you knew as toughest fighters became gentle, kind, consider at to each other.
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i knew more about men after arnhem. >> the guns died out in arnhem. then we knew the greatest gallen tree was not enough to pass the final bridge. now no choice remained, direct assault would be the only way to carve our corridors to the right. first, a port was needed for supplies. antwerp we had. the darks were still all the ports lay dead. a useless city severed from the sea. it would stay dead until we cut away. so the battle formed to free the estuary for our ships. >> i covered that battle for the associated press. i only wish i could have written the story with the greatness of the men who fought it. it was vicious and fierce fighting all the way.
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canadians and poles with the river, norwegians charging in blood and water into the guns at west shap he will. it was the kind of fighting that makes legends. the mine sweepings afterwards, it was the greatest operation of its kind in history. the cost of that ship into harbor was the lives of thousands of our bravest men. i reported it as well as i could. but their memory deserves more than words. >> i was on the first convoy. i saw more empty supply dumps than i like to see. boys wanted to know where the stuff was. can't fight without stuff. anybody knows that. i made lots of trips, i don't
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know how many, driving all day, all night, singing so as to keep awake, songs like milk man, keep those bottles quiet. >> my job was to see to it they had a new tooth brush cot, book to read when they came from east bank to west bank for a little rest. we brought them over one company at a time because that was all the regimen could spare from the line any one time. somebody tapped them on the shoulder said all right, boy, you're going back across the river for 24 hours rest. and here they were where they could rest they just couldn't believe it. here they were for just 24 hours without war. everything was down to essentials counted out like dollar bills through a teller's window. one night's sleep one day's hot
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meals, one clean pair of pants, one shave one hot shower, one movie. i used to wonder what was the best of that day. was it the chance to write home, hot shower, or long waited girl on the screen. whatever it was, all of it was over by morning. they were going back with one clean suit of underwear, shower clean shave and good night's sleep, back across where there were guns and shells. >> by that time we knew we were going to see a winter campaign. there was no way out of it. germans were dug in and they were tough. and it was plain that until we got a lot stronger, we weren't going any place. >> the squadron was operating whenever it could. wasn't a lot of flying. >> suppose you're having a swell time in paris, my cousin wrote me with all of that perfume,
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silk stockings, champagne. >> they called our end of the line south. we were in the mountains with the american 7th army. but it was very little warmth in the south. i recall the mediterranean where we had landed, but memories do not keep one warm. >> before i joined the army i would have thought it was certain death to dig a hole in the backyard and live in it for the winter but that's what we did. said squirrels do it every year. yes, but they don't have machine guns as well. >> there was no heat in the office. i put on so much under the uniform they called me the bundle from britain. >> i started smoking as high as a pack a day. that old law of percentage. the company was melting away. you look up and be fighting alongside a stranger.
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>> it was pretty quiet a lot of them had gone up north. then one day i am standing down and shells start. thought for a minute this was it. then i realized these weren't outgoing, they were incoming. next thing i knew, german tanks, it was an offensive. it was going the wrong way. >> the offensive we were mounting to the north was forestalled and set aside. he cut through the american lines, and tanks driving toward the river. a night of fog and frost. he aimed for the harbor through the edge. all our plans held fire while we bent our strength to curb the
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germans in the bulge. >> one night i was a replacement in england playing in a pub. next day they shoved me in an airplane and was fighting and being kicked around. i don't know about other outfits, mine was being cut to ribbons. they were dropping all around me. the thing that sticks in my head is the medics. only weapon was a needle they were around right where it was hottest. you could hear them yell medic medic. they'd always be there.
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>> the whole division not a presidential citation for what happened, even me just the cook. never forget that lieutenant running into the field kitchen, hollering at me if i had any idea how to operate a bazooka. i said no, he said you're going to learn how. i will bet if the first shot i didn't get me a tank. got interviewed later by stars and stripes they said it was a cracker jack story. i tell it at the drop of a hat. >> we were up north where things were static, we were glad to be moved to the top side of the battle. through belgium, we noticed how scared some of the civilians looked. we were held in reserve a week, then sent into action.
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>> on account of fog, we couldn't get air coordination. it is bad when you have gotten used to it since d-day. then december 24th the sun come up like a christmas present, then we were giving them the old 1-2 again. >> stopped them dead. cost us plenty, but we stopped them. then we started to move ahead again, the rest of us. ♪
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>> his great attempt was over. the armies had a wealth of blood to the right. shook the german fronts, three great architects of freedom met to fix the final blow and plot the peace. even as they met we move to act on our strategy. we pusher the foe to fight. from there we could destroy him. outside his fortress open, unprotected by any river. we passed the gauntlet challenging them to stand and fight.
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♪ ♪ >> we were take the north around the forest, that's frontier area. it was wet and filthy. they nicknamed that army
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commander admiral -- they put up stiff opposition. this is just what we hoped for. showed jerry's emotions about fighting for every foot of his father land were getting the best of his strategy. a lot of the work it was the bloodiest show i have seen in the war. >> it was one of a push, eight divisions, usually follows things like that. there weren't many civilians in the streets. even ones there we weren't to talk to unless we had to. $65 rap for frat earnization. >> we could see the theater a long time before we got there.
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that tower was our objective. we went fast. by the time we got in the town, wasn't too much fight left. cologne was mangled but there were still a few buildings standing. and i was sorry. i thought of those french cities flattened. anyway, we got our positive. now had to cross the river. >> they must be short when they put a sailor and send them across the road. never been sick at sea but sick as a dog on the road. i was feeling lousy, longing for a breath of sea air. i find it under a smoke screen. >> we got up to the rhine. good to get a glimpse of it. >> the air force was giving that
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on the east side. when i am nervous i get off my feet. two days before that i couldn't eat nothing but a couple of milky way bars. it was going to be d-day all over again dangerous. >> a miracle. there was sitting there big and black. i am no architect, that bridge was the most beautiful bridge in the world. in the army when things go as planned, it is wonderful. when they go better you think of the chaplains. ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> everything was going fine. suddenly i get detail to guard german prisoners. never forget when we came over, stood there looking at them. after a half hour, one of them looks up at the sky, said drop again.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> rear pocket was the first big objective. the ground forces wrapped it up. after that exploded all directions. got the germans in their pockets, take them one by one. that was one day. being carved up like a christmas turkey. >> chasing the boss was getting monotonous. there were signs burning
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houses, few shells sniper shot. then one day the routine was broken, came across a prisoner of war camp, they went mad. pummeled one another asked what the news was. i told them he died yesterday afternoon. you should hear them quiet down. once in the campaign felt they suffered a major defate. tried to cheer them up no time to lose. only a few00 square feet. >> we were in the home stretch when we ran into displaced persons, slave workers. they were sick hungry from all over europe. roads were jammed with them. they kept out of the way didn't give us any trouble. like the fellow said, there's a
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lot more than towns have to be reconstructed. >> i wondered what was up. i soon found out we had taken the concentration camp. well i'm not squeamish, i have seen amputations, operations, deaths long before i went into the army. i was a warden. i lost count how many i pulled out of the wreckage. this was different. very different. i don't know any words big enough to make you understand what we all felt. i am proud of this. hard to fallout and quickly be sick in the courtyard. i am not squeamish, but well, i am human thank god for it.
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>> the government sent a few of us congressmen to see those camps. and if there's anybody left who wonders if the war was worth fighting, well, i wish they could have been along. there was, right in front of us, fascism, what it is bound to lead to. i talked to some prisoners, ones that had the strength to talk. their offenses were usual nazi crimes, wrong religion, wrong race. belong to a union or wrong political party. in germany, it led to over 400 camps like the ones i saw. it was the worst thing i saw in my life. i wouldn't have missed it for anything.
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>> the army gets to moving in a hurry, that's where airtrans port comes in. we had been doing it since d-day, toward the end were faster on the ground than in the air. >> our hopes rose higher than soaring flames. in italy, a million prisoners came in as with a single blow, the german power was smashed. then our tanks drove through southern mountains where the foe hoped to make a furious final stand. russians took berlin, cut the heart from hitler's empire. he planned to rule the earth pole to pole vanished like smoke. on the green banks of the river, waited for east and west to meet.
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>> i hung around with a tommy. he didn't know english. i taught him to say my aching back. we drank toasts, had a million laughs. now he found an interpreter, toasts the great american soldier. that stopped me. we did all right but i don't like to think we would have been without them. >> a million and a half surrendered in the north. fighting nearly over, our job was beginning. we had been training a long time for the administration of
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germany and were prepared for plenty of trouble sabotage passage resistance, perhaps something more violent, wear wolves in sheep's clothing. as it turned out, most were docile. seemed healthy, well fed. disease was in their minds. a german woman looking at what's left of her town said if only you give up the 1940, none of this needn't happen. ♪ ♪
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>> at win minute after midnight, may 9 1945 the guns stopped. now it starts. all of the arguments about who won the war. here's what i say. no country on earth could have won it alone. what does that mean? anybody that wants to take a bow by himself is not only boasting but nuts. >> i spent four years in the infantry and saw my share. only found three men liked to fight, they were a little cracked but had to be done. now that it is over i feel good except for one thing.
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all this talk about world war three. these big pessimists that talk easily about another war didn't see this one or enough of it. >> we were bringing in prisoners. ready to befriend them. thinking of fellows that bought it, crashed, shot down, missing. right from the battle of britain. i remember their faces some joke they played or maybe the way they laughed or something. seemed to be such a lot of them i remember. >> to the victor belongs the spoils. that's what they say. well, what are the spoils? only this. chance to build a free world better than before. maybe the last chance.
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remember that. >> now the time has come to put our victory to the test of peace, in company of men with many lands to sift from ashes what was struggle. in rebuilding of a broken earth may we keep in our hearts this ancient prayer. o lord god, we now give to thy servants to endeavor any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning but the continuing of the same until it is utterly finished which yieldeth the true glory. ♪
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you're watching american history tv on cspan3. follow us on twitter at cspan history. for information on the schedule of upcoming programs, and keep up on the latest history news. there's more on american history tv's facebook page, including video of recent programs and viewer comments. that's at facebook.com/cspanhistory. here are some featured programs for this weekend on the cspan networks. on cspan saturday starting noon, politicians, white house officials, and business leaders offer advice and encouragement to the class of 2015. speakers include former president george w. bush, and melody hobson, chair of dream works animation. 9:15 p.m., former staff members reflect on the presidency of
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george h.w. bush. sunday at noon more commencement speeches from across the country with former secretaries of state condoleezza rice, madeleine albright philadelphia mayor michael nutter. cspan2, book tv is in new york city from book expo america beginning at 10:00 live call in segments with publishers and authors. later, looking at hollingsworth v perry considering proposition 8, rescinding the right of same sex couples to mary. on cspan3 saturday a conversation on first ladies with the most impact on the executive mansion. sunday afternoon before 2:00 the life and death of our 20th president, james garfield who served almost two decades as
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congressman from ohio assassinated two days into his term as president. get the complete schedule at cspan.org. the new congressional directory is a handy guide to 114th congress color photos of every senator and house member, bio, contact information and twitter handles. district maps, foldout of capitol hill a look at presidential committees, cabinet, federal agency, state governors. order your copy today. 13.95 plus ship ship through cspan online store at c-span.org. >> each week american history tv real america brings archival films that tell the story of the 20th century. the baltimore plan is an educational film documenting a privately funded effort to remove urban blight

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